Monday, August 13, 2012

Fresh Veggies are Best

Remember my vegetable garden that I started this summer? Well, it has exploded with plump red tomatoes, large green zucchini, and fragrant basil leaves. There's nothing better than cooking with fresh veggies and fresh herbs. 
A fresh Green pepper from the garden with a turkey burger
Everyday I walk out and survey my garden. It's amazing how things grow so quickly and even though I know I don't do much to help the photosynthesis do its job, I somehow have this proud feeling that I, Jenny, am creating and raising vegetables. 
My beautiful Zucchini 
Tonight I made a homemade pizza crust and topped it with my fresh tomatoes, Zucchini, and Basil. Here's how it turned out. It tastes even better than it looks. 
So here's to delicious veggies and the fun I've had raising them! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I believe in...

I believe in smiling every day.
I believe in falling asleep quickly and waking up slowly.
I believe in “too-thick-for-a-straw” Milkshakes
I believe in cold ice cream and warm brownies
I believe in rain streaking down car windows
I believe in families that last forever
I believe in God and in the redeeming power of his son, Jesus Christ.
I believe in New – new sights, new smells, and new discoveries
I believe in Old – old friends, old shoes, and old traditions
I believe in “Happily Ever After”
I believe in the invisible language of music
I believe in friendships- true and long-lasting
I believe in Hugs that linger
I believe in the magic of words and the power of thoughts
I believe in the feeling of flour on your hands
I believe in white Christmases and golden autumns
I believe in the words “I love you” and “I’m sorry”
I believe in crying every once and a while
I believe in live theatre and art museums
I believe in “down to the line” sports games and friendly rounds of cards
I believe in wishing and hoping
I believe in dancing around the kitchen
I believe in feeling beautiful and worthwhile
I believe in myself and my unlimited possibilities

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catch a Wave and you're sitting on top of the World

Welcome to one of my favorite places of all time - The Outer banks of North Carolina! Since I have a lot of family living in Virginia, it has been a tradition to drive down to North Carolina and spend time on the beach together. The drive down was a bit scarier this year as the car I sat in hydro-planed and spun off the road knocking into a sign and giving me the scare of my life. There's nothing like a close call like that to remind you of your own mortality and miraculous survival. It was a blessing no one was hurt and we made it safely to our final destination. 

In the beginning, we packed all of our families into this one or two roomed beach house called "The Sandspur." It has gone down in history as our humble beginnings and the spot where we survived at least two hurricanes. But as our family expanded, we needed an upgrade. We left our little "Sandspur" (shown on the left) and have started packing our clan into some beautiful beach palaces. This year's house was called "Fish Tales"

I love the beach. I believe in the healing power of the salty water and also the terrifying thrill of crashing waves. There is nothing like staring at a gigantic wave knowing you have one second to decide if you will ride this wave all the way to shore on your boogie board or let it completely smash over you. Riding on top of a wave truly feels like sitting on top of the world, but it feels even better when you look over and realize people you love are riding it with you. 
I don't like sand in my swimming suit, but I do love to feel the sand between my toes as I go searching for sea shells and dolphins jumping in the waves. It was fun to spend so much time together as a family splashing in the ocean and the pool. 
Brother and Sister
When the ocean tires you out for the night, there is always the lure of a sunset walk along the beach or a run  down the cool sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge Park. 
With Mary and Emma

Heading to the Giant Sand Dunes
The ocean waves always seem to call me back despite sun burns, jelly fish stings, and tumbles along the ocean floor. Thank you Outer banks for the memories and the lovely tan. 

The Delights of D.C.

I've been lucky enough to have spent a lot of my childhood visiting my cousins out in Northern Virginia. We grew up like siblings although many of them are almost ten years older than me.  Because Arlington, Virginia is literally 15 minutes from downtown D.C., I feel like I can claim Washington D.C. as a city close to my heart. 

Even though I have been there multiple times, there are a few points of interest I HAVE TO SEE   every time I return. I always try to go to the FDR Memorial and walk around the Tidal Basin at night and pop into the National Gallery of Art. 

This was the Gallery where I believe I first started falling in love with art. In fact I like to pinpoint it to the day my mom and I walked through this gallery looking for Van Eyck's "The Annunciation" (shown below). It is even more magical returning now that I have studied a lot of these masterpieces in class. I get a childlike excitement bubble up inside when I turn a corner and see a favorite piece of art hanging there in its three dimensional glory. A picture in a textbook never comes close to the beauty of the original paint jutting out in thick blobs and still glistening as if it were wet. 
Cole's "Voyage of Life" - a favorite that I have hanging in my room
Remember my earlier post about Albert Pinkham Ryder?  Here's one up close! Yes, I noticed the oozing paint and I smiled.
I love to find a Seurat painting and stand right up close to it where it is just a huge compilation of little dots. Then as I walk slowly farther away, these thousands of dots become a beautiful landscape. AMAZING!
My sister-in-law and Cousin were nice enough to humor my love and excitement for art as I dragged them from room to room in this art gallery. I truly could spend days in that gallery. 
Here's Van Eyck's "Annunciation" the beginning of my  love affair with  art! 
This trip I had the joy of taking my new sister-in-law around to the monuments (because it was her maiden voyage to D.C.). I enjoyed reuniting with some of these fun tourist spots. 
At the WWII memorial
The Lincoln Memorial
Going to Teddy Roosevelt Island
Oh Washington D.C. - Although your hot, humid summers make me sticky and smelly, I still love you. I love your fireflies and your insects that roar with noise after dark. Who knows, maybe I'll be joining you again a guide at the National Gallery perhaps? One can dream!